We were supposed to have been somewhere in the Abacos right now.

Some issues surfaced after spending about six weeks on the hook generating our own power. For one, we learned that our solar panels are not sufficient to meet our power needs, as small as our needs are. We use about 60 amp hours per day. I spent a lot of time working through that, including replacing the solar charge controller, and the wiring from the controller to the batteries, but mostly just getting my head around the issues. I did get the solar panels working to charge the batteries, which they were not doing at all for the first 5 weeks, but in the end we decided to bite the bullet and add a generator to the mix. So now we are the proud new owners of a new Honda 2000 generator with a shore power outlet. I’m pretty sure it will fit into the cockpit seat lockers. It better.

The other big thing was that after running the Perkins to charge the batteries on a daily basis during that time, we saw oil start spraying out the top of the engine and exhaust coming directly out of the engine. Further investigation showed that the aft exhaust manifold gasket had failed. That meant removing the manifold, and in pulling it off we also discovered that the forward-most stud holding the manifold to the block was sheared, and had been for quite some time, judging by the black buildup on the broken surface. So now we’re waiting on a welder to weld a nut onto the remains of the stud so that we can extract it before we can put the thing back together. In the meantime, I’m working on tracking down a replacement 1 5/8” 5/16” fine grain stud to replace the sheared one, and we’re wasting away in Margaritaville.

I can’t tell you where we’re really wasting away, and why is another story for another post.